Union Facts and Myths

Unions are complex organizations that exist to represent their members in their industries and make sure they have a voice and a vote on the job. The Boilermakers union also makes sure its members have the best chance at safe working conditions, fair contracts and more.

Anti-union entities like to spread misleading information about organized labor. Here are some facts about the Boilermakers and unions in general.

Boilermaker Union Benefits for Members

Joining the Boilermakers Union means joining an international family that aggressively prepares, promotes, protects and defends its members. We make the workplace safer and ensure fair treatment under a legal contract.

  • Our collective bargaining provides members with better salaries, pensions, holidays, health insurance, sick pay, overtime, job-site safety and more. We negotiate for members. 
  • We have our member’s backs. We know workers’ rights and defend those rights.

Boilermaker Union Benefits for Owners and Contractors

When owners and contractors employ Boilermaker members, they are joining an international family that cares about the business’ bottom line. The workers’ success is based on the business’ success; so Boilermakers get the job done right—on time, within budget and safely. Every time.

We offer:

  • Flexible skilled staffing solutions.
  • A local and national dispatch system so owners and contractors get the size of crew they need, when and where they need it.
  • Workers who show up on time and ready to work with their hands and their brains to solve the hardest problems.
  • OSHA- and MHSA-trained workers who consider safety priority one.
  • Area training centers for specialized industry instruction.

Union Facts

Unions DO NOT force workers to join.

Unions are created when a majority of the workers vote to join a union, and the employer recognizes the union.

Unions DO NOT work without their members.

Unions are democratic bodies that members direct through voting and leadership.

Unions DO NOT harm employers.

Union workers are more satisfied and productive at work. Employing union workers reduces costly turnover and makes the workplace safer.

Unions DO NOT protect low performers.

Unions make sure the hiring process is objective so management can’t hire less skilled workers for less pay or promote their friends.

Unions ARE NOT run by labor bosses.

Union leaders are elected by the membership.

Unions ARE NOT always on strike.

Unions work hard to make sure over 99 percent of contracts are settled without a strike.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How are International leaders selected?

Boilermaker International leadership is voted on by democratically elected member delegates during the Consolidate Convention, which happens every five years.

Q. How are International leadership salaries set?

Delegates to the Consolidated Convention vote on International leadership salaries. This happens every five years.

Q. How are local lodge leaders selected?

Boilermakers International union and business entity officers and employees are vetted rigorously and adhere to strict Conflict of Interest policies.

Q. How are International staff hired?

Boilermakers International staff are hired based on their skills and experience to best serve the organization.

Q. How are meetings and travel governed for International leaders and staff?

Boilermaker business meeting frequency, travel and locales are governed strictly by the Boilermaker’s Constitution and are considered vital to the education and representation of Boilermaker members and staff.

Q. Are Boilermaker pension funds used to fund International leader and staff travel or meetings?

No. The International Brotherhood of Boilermakers is a separate entity from the Boilermakers National Fund.


Have a question? Send your question, along with your name and local lodge number (if applicable) to questions@boilermakers.org.